Mod Boutique Hotel in the Heart of Little Italy
The scent of freshly baked pizza seems to permeate the air in San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood, its streets dotted with red-and-white-striped restaurants. Crowds file in and out of the area's quaint shops, stopping in between to grab a quick cup of espresso at one of the cafés on India Street. Steps away from the vibrant shops, the stucco Porto Vista Hotel channels a fun, throwback vibe Frommer's calls "retro-Italian cool."
Upon your arrival, bartenders whip up two complimentary welcome drinks, drawing from ginger and elderflower essences as well as house-infused bacon vodka. Upstairs, cozy queen rooms are dominated by a floor-to-ceiling, '60s-style photograph taken by a local San Diego artist. The oversize image overlooks cushy pillow-top beds wrapped in crisp, white linens. Guests can snare wild frisbees from their window, which peers toward the glistening bay.
On the fourth floor of the Porto Vista, chefs at the Glass Door restaurant use local and seasonal ingredients to concoct inventive dishes such as duck-fat fries and prosciutto-seared salmon, which are served at communal tables amid wrought-iron lanterns and wall-to-wall waterfront views. Elsewhere, you can unwind at a rooftop sunset yoga class, get styled in the attached Evolve Salon, or explore the happening neighborhood just outside the Porto Vista's front doors.
San Diego: Foodie Heaven with Vibrant Neighborhoods
Little Italy's historical streets bustle with tourists and locals alike, who come especially for the good eats. Handmade gelato and golden pizza pies fill the storefronts of classic, Italian-style eateries. One dessert café, run by a Paris-trained pastry chef, regularly sees lines forming down the block in the early morning as diners stock up on flaky, buttery croissants and scones.
Less than a mile from the hotel, the massive USS Midway Museum lets visitors wander through a Navy aircraft carrier and immerse themselves in life on the high seas. To observe San Diego's funky neighborhoods up close, you can shadow a local mailman or rent electric bikes for full- or half-day adventures. Some of the most popular destinations within biking distance include SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo, one of only four American zoos with giant pandas on display.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.